Mt. Iliamna Coughs Up Some Secrets

Working with the team members of the Alaska Volcano Observatory team as they studied Mt. Iliamna was not only a learning experience but we walked away with new friends.

Mt. Iliamna

This season found Theresa and I back in Alaska at the Snug Harbor Cannery to support the AVO team while they studied Mt. Iliamna.

Mt. Iliamna volcano is a broad, deeply dissected and highly altered, roughly cone-shaped mountain at the north end of a 5-km-long ridge. Most of the volcano is covered by perennial snow and ice. Numerous glaciers radiate from the summit area and large avalanche deposits occur on the flanks of the volcano, particularly down the Umbrella Glacier on the southwest side of Mt. Iliamna.

According to the team, Mt. Iliamna is one of the least active in Alaska and as such one of the least studied. But that was all to change during the two weeks we were all on the island. Unusually warm and dry weather resulted in the team being able to fly out in the field every single day. Not once did they have to scrub flights due to weather.

Wild and scenic rivers

We’re proud to announce we’ve been selected to participate in collecting data for this new science project. Watch for more information to follow soon.

Framed by the five­-year window between the 50th anniversary of the WSR Act and the federal Clean Water Act, the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and National Park Service­ have partnered with Adventure Scientists to survey water quality on protected rivers across the country, providing needed data at an unprecedented scale.

Alaska Volcano Observatory

The AVO is staffed by 22 full-time scientists, technicians, and administrators. However, they weren’t the only ones that came out during the two-week study. There were volcanologists from Colorado and southern California that also came out for a portion of that time.

The AVO is responsible for assessing the full range of potential hazards at specific volcanic centers. This effort involves studying a volcano to determine the style and frequency of past eruptions and the potential impacts of future activity. Hazards assessments include descriptions of the history of a given volcano, explanations of likely eruption scenarios, and determination of probable impact zones for the range of expected hazards.

Each person or small team were there to study a different aspect of the Mt. Iliamna volcano. One of the most interesting, and just plain geeky, was measuring differences in the gravitational pull around the volcano to find magma dooms.

Working with the team members of the Alaska Volcano Observatory team as they studied Mt. Iliamna was not only a learning experience but we walked away with new friends.

Working with the team members of the Alaska Volcano Observatory team as they studied Mt. Iliamna was not only a learning experience but we walked away with new friends.

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We had spent the day in the field collecting data enduring heavy rains. Towards sunset, the sky turned dark and ominous but then, the mountain behind camp lit up with sunshine. Great ending to a great day.⠀ ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #pnw #washington #washingtonstate #pacificnorthwest #pnwonderland #nature #optoutside #washingtonexplored #science #upperleftusa #olympicpeninsula #beach #cascadiaexplored #wildlife #explorewashington #conservation #pnwlife #washingtonweed #wacoast #washingtonstatefair #naturephotography #washingtonnationals #washingtontrails #wander #hiking #olympicnationalpark @washingtondiscovered #WildOlympics @nextstop24 #nextstop24traveler #getwildandscenic @adventurescientists ...

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Snug Harbor Outpost

The usual suspects were all present at the Cannery this year and it’s always good to come ‘home’ and rekindle relationships. We swapped stories about engagements, passings, man overboard and the usual, “You won’t believe this…” stories.

climate change

The cannery looked much the same despite this being her centennial year. The biggest issue we had to contend with this year was that the waterfall we rely on for our freshwater was just about running dry. 

The same weather that allowed the AVO to conduct such a rapid assessment of Mt. Iliamna was also threatening to dry our water source.

This forced us to rig a storage system and pump to make sure we had the necessary water for daily use. I’ve only been going to the island for about 10 years, but those who have been coming out for decades mentioned that this was the first time they had seen the waterfall just about dried out.

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